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Frigaard takes JDA executive director position

By Sue Sitter - | Apr 10, 2021

Karl Frigaard, a Minnesota business professional with North Dakota roots, has taken the helm as executive director for the Rugby Job Development Authority.

Board members for the JDA voted unanimously at a March 26 special meeting to hire Frigaard after reviewing his credentials and holding multiple interviews.

“We’ve all seen his credentials and they look pretty good,” said JDA Board President Blair Bratvett. “He’s got all kinds of connections and he’s been doing this for a long time.”

The board agreed to increase Frigaard’s starting salary for the post, which is paid for by the City of Rugby, from $55,000 to $60,000.

“We did offer him a sign-on bonus, but that wasn’t available since we’re a city entity,” Brattvet told the board.

“I was informed by the city auditor that we were not able to do that,” said Rugby Mayor Sue Steinke.

“Based on our budget, we’ve already got $56,000 budgeted for the JDA director and we had another $13,000 budgeted for an assistant, so we’ve got a little over $70,000 already budgeted for the director and the assistant,” Brattvet noted. “So, if we cut the administrative assistant salary budgeted down to $10,000 versus $13,000, we’ll be within budget. So, at our next meeting, we’ll switch those two around and adjust that.”

“And,” Brattvet added, “he would get full benefits based on the city benefits schedule because he would be a city employee.”

Frigaard joined the meeting just after the board voted to hire him. He said he had been busy moving into an apartment in Rugby.

“I’m a North Dakota native and I grew up in Cooperstown,” Frigaard said. “My family owned a newspaper. It’s called the Griggs County Sentinel-Courier. We printed in New Rockford.”

Frigaard has been involved in a variety of projects for businesses and communities ranging from building a technical school for telephone linemen in Lake of the Woods, Minn. to managing research and development of a public school menu using North Dakota-produced pinto beans and beef.

Frigaard also wrote numerous grants for projects such as clean energy upgrades for a Minnkota Power Company facility and connected several small businesses with funds from revolving loans for business such as restaurants, pharmacies and tire shops.

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